Thursday, May 31, 2012

Good Morning Vietnam!

Or rather good afternoon from Vietnam!

When you mention the name Vietnam images of jungles, pho noodles and the Vietnam War as portrayed in Francis Ford Coppola’s classic movie “Apocalypse Now,” and Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket” come to mind. So what does a young Vietnamese woman walking through sand dunes have to do with Vietnam?

This is the Red Sand Dunes in Mui Ne, Vietnam. Mui Ne is a beautiful beach resort that looks nothing like the rest of Vietnam. Inundated with backpackers, boutique resorts and tons of Russian tourists (where’s John Rambo when you need him), this is where you go if you don’t want a slice of the real Vietnam. I came here for some welcome relief from the madness otherwise known as Saigon otherwise known as Ho Chi Minh City. Besides the beach, Mui Ne is famous for windsurfing and their white and red sand dunes.

Walking through the dunes was a surreal experience. It reminded me of a mini Death Valley National Park and at other times I had my “Lawrence of Arabia” moments.

After walking through the dunes for an hour or so in the hot sun I wasn’t feeling the inspiration for a great shot. So I walked back to the cafe across the street where I parked my motorbike to get a cold beer. I met this young woman and an older woman in the cafe who were models for a photo shoot earlier in the day. I asked them to be my models and in return I would send them copies of my photographs. They agreed and we headed back out to the dunes.

The sun was setting quickly so I had only about ten minutes to photograph them. Under the time constraints and changing lens in between shots (not a good idea with so much blowing sand around you), this was perhaps this best of the series of shots I took.

Stay tuned for more of my adventures in Southeast Asia.

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

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